Gravel size sediment beds are tested under the combined influence of simulated wave action and co-linear currents in a laboratory flume. Critical current speed, at threshold, increases with increasing size. Superimposed wave energy causes a small reduction in the unidirectional current energy. For low values of wave-induced near bed current velocities, the resistance to erosion increases when the wave period decreases from 10 to 6 s. Finally, combined critical shear stresses are found to be lower than those predicted using the Shields curve, as modified for oscillatory flow. Grain protrusion is suggested as a mechanism to explain this divergence.